SEOUL, Jan. 6 (Yonhap) — South Korea said Wednesday it will spend 12.7 trillion won (US$11.7 billion) this year as part of its digital New Deal program, which aims to foster new tech industries for job creation.

The government last year unveiled ambitious stimulus projects, under its Korean New Deal initiative, amounting to 160 trillion won until 2025.

The digital New Deal targets pouring 58.2 trillion won into key tech investments to create around 900,000 jobs by the same year.

Last year, South Korea spent 3.5 trillion won on digital New Deal projects, such as supporting the development of smart factories.

his undated file photo, provided by the Ministry of Science and ICT, shows its office in Sejong, around 120 kilometers south of Seoul. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

The central government will invest 7.6 trillion won in digital New Deal projects this year, with the rest of the amount covered by regional governments and the private sector, according to the Ministry of Science and ICT.

The ministry said 9.9 trillion won will be spent on developing technologies based on data, networks and artificial intelligence (AI), which includes developing AI-based technologies, such as self-driving cars and smart factories.

Around 700 billion won will be set aside for virtual services, such as remote education and smart medical systems.

The ministry added that 2.1 trillion won will be spent on the digitization of social overhead capital, which includes projects such as installing road infrastructure with self-driving technology and updating the country’s disaster-response system.